Elliptical cross trainer machines are one of the most popular at-home training machines. Many ellipticals nowadays can easily be folded up for convenient storage, and all of them provide a great cardio workout. Of course, whatever elliptical you buy will have different features depending on what brand you purchase. However, there are a few things every good elliptical should have. In this article, we’ll go through some of the major features that make ellipticals so great. We’ll also discuss the advantages and disadvantage to having one of these devices in your home. Hopefully, by the time you’ve finished reading this article, you’ll be able to determine if buying an elliptical is the right decisions for your lifestyle.

Features & Functions of Cross Trainer

First off, you should be sure you can easily adjust your cross trainer’s pedals and uprights. It’s critical that you be able to make your cross trainer conform to your height. Not only will this make the workout more comfortable, but it will also make the workout more effective. Also, by taking the time to adjust your elliptical specifically for you, you’ll avoid injuring your knees and ankles.

Every good elliptical should have a heart rate sensor on the handles. Some fancy elliptical machines nowadays actually have wireless heart monitors. Tracking your heart rate during a workout is important, especially when doing cardio work. Be sure whatever elliptical you want to purchase has a reliable heart monitor to help you track your workout progress.

Since we live in such a technologically sophisticated age, most cross trainers today have LCD consoles on them. In the most basic cross trainers, you should at least see how many calories you’ve burned, how far you’ve gone, what your heart rate is, and how long you’ve been on the machine. Some fancier cross trainers have LCD displays capable of connecting with your iPod, showing you personalized workout videos, and even showing you movies.

Additional Facts

Some elliptical cross trainers actually have adjustable magnetic resistance features. If you really want a difficult workout to sculpt and tone your body, you should be sure this machine has magnetic resistance. Upping the resistance will make your workouts more difficult, but you’ll burn calories far quicker. You will also become toned more quickly the more resistance you put on your machine. As mentioned above, however, not all cross trainers have magnetic resistance, so be sure to check the product’s description.

Another way to increase the difficulty of your workout is to use ramps. Be sure there are adjustable ramps on your cross trainer if you want an easy way to increase/decrease how steep your workout is. Adding both a steep ramp and a high magnetic resistance will really give you a powerful workout each and every time.

Cross Trainer Pros and Cons

a woman working out

Cross Trainer Advantages

One of the top advantages of using an elliptical is accelerated weight loss. Studies have shown that people who specifically want to eliminate excess fat have had the greatest success with an elliptical. These devices have proven better at burning calories and fat than both stair masters and stationary bikes. Ellipticals are often a great way for overweight or obese people looking to shed a few pounds to start. Since cross trainers work more body muscles than treadmills, they feel easier to people, but they actually work more muscles.

In addition to helping you with your cardio and fat burning, cross trainers are far easier on your joints than treadmills. Treadmills are actually considered “high impact” devices by most trainers. They can cause serious damage to your knees over a few years usage. Thankfully, you’ll experience far less joint damage using a cross trainer, since it works the entire body and doesn’t require you to pound your feet and knees with each step.

If your elliptical has great magnetic resistance or ramps, you’ll be able to adjust your workout every single time to your desired difficulty level. You could also gradually increase your intensity as you get stronger and stronger with repeated use of the cross trainer.

Cross trainers are often recommended to people who want a great workout at home. These devices are generally portable, small, and relatively inexpensive in comparison to other at home devices. Also, these machines will give you a great full body workout every single time you use them.

Cross Trainer Disadvantages

Cross trainers are generally safe for most people. However, other people with pre-existing knee conditions said they’ve experienced worsening symptoms in their knees after using their elliptical. Always consider your body’s limitations. If the knee pain is too much for you, perhaps look for a device and exercise program that’s more in line with your particular needs and goals.

Professional runners should understand that cross trainers weren’t designed to prepare you for racing events. Cross trainers are better for giving an overall body workout, but not for training a person for running events. It would be better for runners to use a treadmill or just run outside.

Cross trainers offer a great cardiovascular workout for your whole body. Still, you’ll need to add some bone and muscle strengthening exercises to your routine if you want to get a full workout. Most doctors will say cross trainers are a great start. On the other hand, you need to add more exercises if you truly want to develop your muscles and bones.

Final Words

Cross trainers have become incredibly popular for people who want to workout at home. Not only are these devices portable and relatively inexpensive, but they offer a great overall cardio workout for the whole body without a huge strain on your joints. There are tons of cross trainers currently on the market ranging in price from the hundred to the thousands. If you’re looking for a great overall workout for a reasonable price, why not give these products a try?

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